Guest Post: Creating Sustainable Happiness
Creating Sustainable Happiness by Tara Olowoye
As I prepare to write this post, I sit on the precipice of change. Big change. Life altering-holy-crap-I’m-so-excited-even-though-I-have-no-idea-what’s-about-to-happen change. Yet I know it’s coming. And I trust the Universe (and myself) to bring change that will serve my highest purpose, and the highest purpose of my family. To put things in perspective, 2016 is a universal 9 year–a year of completion. But for me, it’s a personal 1 year–a year of new beginnings. In the last universal 9/personal 1 year (2007), I divorced my Ph.D. program and left academia, went to Nigeria to meet my soon-to-be in-laws for the first time, consciously acknowledged that I wanted to serve people and began working with refugee women, got (officially) engaged, and got married. It was a big year. I expect no less bigness from 2016, only in different ways (obviously!).
When Ashley asked me to write this post, a couple of ideas popped into my head…and promptly out. So I write with the intention that my words will serve you, our readers, as best they can. (Of course, I’ve got a bit of shattuckite and labradorite and chamomile tea to help me along!)
I’ve been really happy over the past couple of months. Constant internal dance party happy (“Shut Up and Dance with Me” dance party!). Having never experienced such a thing in this incarnation, it’s been a funny, and welcome, change. Sure, I’ve had many happy moments, even days or weeks, in this incarnation. But this happiness is different. It’s trusting in myself and what’s going on around me, it’s allowing and acknowledging everything that I feel or that comes my way, it’s letting things go that don’t matter and don’t serve my highest purpose. It’s letting go of control, of trying to make everyone and everything do things my way.
When you’re highly spiritual and tuned in, it’s easy to jump from reading to reading and analyze everything possible and decide this is this and that is that and that you don’t want to be here at this time in this place, or that you should be doing something else here in this time and at this place. I’ve been there, I know. But there’s a freedom in letting go of all that, of focusing on what’s in front of you, what’s important, and choosing to love the life you have. Being present and looking at the magic happening in front of you is amazing and awe-inspiring. It is love. Ed Sheeran comes to mind: “We found love right where we are.” (“Thinking Out Loud”) There is freedom in just existing, just being, just trusting that all is well.
So how did I get to this happy place?
Well, if you go back through the many thousands of pages of private chats with my friends or jotted down notes hidden away in my home, you’ll see it wasn’t easy. There were more than a few major freak-outs. There was so much analysis of every single thing that came to mind or to experience, to the point of over-analysis and exhaustion. There were epiphanies, many epiphanies, mostly related to loving myself, accepting myself, and extending from there. I learned that all the things that I thought mattered….don’t. It really doesn’t matter that I’m a walk-in or have this past life or that past life. It doesn’t matter who my soul is or where from where it comes. It doesn’t matter what bonds I have with who in this incarnation. What matters, what brings me to a place of undeniable, infectious happiness is love. Being present. Staying grounded and balanced. Focusing on what’s in front of me, helping people when and where I can. But mostly, it’s loving myself, fulfilling my needs, allowing myself to feel worthy of the best that life has to offer. When I reach that place of loving myself, I find it’s so much easier to love everyone and everything around me. I’ve fallen back in love with the people I’m closest to, and minor imperfections in my home or car or corner of the world are there to be loved and changed as I can change them.
Is this happiness sustainable long-term?
Yes, of course, I believe it is. And oh, yes, I still get really cranky and yell at my kids and stuff from time to time. But where it used to be many times per day, now it’s maybe a couple of times per month. Life isn’t perfect (meaning, it doesn’t go the exact way we want it to all the time), so it’s a matter of staying flexible and going with the flow….and releasing control. Occasionally, I catch myself complaining and realize I’m trying to control the issue at hand, and that I have to let it go.
Figure out what works for you. Choose to be happy and to be love incarnate, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Choose to work hard on it, especially in this universal 9 year that supports letting go of all the things that don’t serve you. Choose to let go and live and love (most especially yourself) and accept and stay grounded and all those things. Choose love. And then act on all of those things.
My first reaction to the reading was WOW. Your words captured a theme woven into my life right now. The reading has emboldened me to take back my power and inspired me to research some books, get back to meditating and provided a focus.Dina